Breaking news World news Thu, 24 May 2018 06:24:12 +0600 60 US first lady returns to White House after kidney procedure US First Lady Melania Trump returned to the White House on Saturday after undergoing a procedure for a kidney condition and is "doing really well," President Donald Trump said.

"Great to have our incredible First Lady back home in the White House," the president said on Twitter. "Melania is feeling and doing really well. Thank you for all of your prayers and best wishes!"

The Slovenia-born former model underwent an embolization procedure on Monday for a "benign" kidney condition, according to her communications director Stephanie Grisham.

Embolization is most frequently used to cut off the flow of blood to a tumor or growth.

While the procedure is often performed on an outpatient basis, it is not uncommon to stay overnight to treat the pain.

The White House offered no explanation the First Lady's longer stay.

Mon, 21 May 2018 09:29:16 +0600
Plane carrying 104 passengers crashes after takeoff from Havana Only three survivors have been survived and they are in critical condition after a Boeing 737 crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport in Havana on Friday with 104 passengers and nine crew aboard, a military officer told reporters.

The officer declined to provide his name and other officials declined to confirm the figure.

The plane came to rest in a yuca field where firefighters sprayed the charred fuselage with hoses.

Officials said the plane was headed to the eastern city of Holguin when it crashed between the airport in southern Havana and the nearby town of Santiago de Las Vegas.

The plane lay in a farm field and appeared heavily damaged and burnt, with firefighters spraying water on its smoldering remains. Government officials including President Miguel Diaz-Canel rushed to the site, along with a large number of emergency medical workers and ambulances. Residents of the rural area said they had seen some survivors being taken away in ambulances.

The plane was rented by Cubana, which has taken many of its aging planes out of service in recent months due to mechanical problems.

Sat, 19 May 2018 19:35:42 +0600
Syria's Assad flies to Russia for talks with Putin: Kremlin By Maxim Rodionov and Polina Devitt

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Russian leader Vladimir Putin's summer residence on the Black Sea for talks on Thursday about the Syrian conflict, the Kremlin said, a visit that underscored Moscow's status as Assad's chief backer.

Since fighting broke out in his country in 2011, Assad has traveled only rarely, but has made three publicly-acknowledged visits to Russia, each time for meetings with Putin.

Russia's entry into the conflict in 2015 turned the tide of the conflict in Assad's favor, and established Russia as a powerbroker in the Middle East.

At the meeting, in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Assad congratulated Putin on his new term as president, after he was re-elected in March, and thanked the Russian military for its support in Syria.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the meeting, which had not been announced in advance, took place on Thursday.

"Stability is improving, and all that opens the doors to the political process, which we started a while ago," Assad told Putin, according to a transcript of the opening remarks from the meeting posted on the Kremlin website.

"I have always said, and I repeat it again, that we have always wholeheartedly supported the political process, which should proceed in parallel with the war on terrorism."

"We know that will not be easy, since there are countries which do not want stability to return to Syria. However, together with you and our other partners and friends, we will move firmly forward with the peace process," Assad was quoted as saying.

Russia said it intervened militarily in Syria to defeat violent Islamist extremists who had taken control over parts of the country and were launching bomb and gun attacks in other parts of the world.

Critics of Russia's action, among them the United States and European states, say it is propping up an Assad leadership that has lost its legitimacy, and that its air strikes have killed large numbers of civilians. Russia says it never targets civilian areas.

In remarks cited by the Kremlin, Putin congratulated the Syrian leader on what he said were significant successes on the battlefield achieved by the Syrian military.

"The terrorists have laid down their arms in key locations in Syria, which has allowed for the restoration of Syrian infra-structure," Putin was cited as saying.

"And of course now, after these military successes, additional conditions have doubtless been created for the renewal of a fully-fledged political process."

Assad was making his second visit to see Putin in Sochi. The previous occasion was in November last year. He also visited Putin in Moscow in October 2015, soon after Russia launched its military operation in Syria.

Source: Reuters

Fri, 18 May 2018 11:53:03 +0600
International Day of Families - 15 May Although families all over the world have transformed greatly over the past decades in terms of their structure and as a result of global trends and demographic changes, the United Nations still recognizes the family as the basic unit of society. The International Day of Families provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting them.It has inspired a series of awareness-raising events, including national family days. In many countries, this day is an opportunity to highlight different areas of interest and importance to families.

The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. Activities include workshops and conferences, radio and television programmes, newspaper articles and cultural programmes highlighting relevant themes.

2018 Theme: “Families and inclusive societies”

This year’s observance will explore the role of families and family policies in advancing Sustainable Development Goal 16 in terms of promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.

Tue, 15 May 2018 18:16:21 +0600
Eurovision song contest won by Israel's Netta in Lisbon final Israel has won the Eurovision song contest with pop star Netta Barzilai’s quirky entry Toy.

The Israeli performer was awarded 529 points, beating favourites Cyprus into second place.

The 25-year-old was singing with the Israeli Navy Band when she entered and won the country’s Eurovision selection show HaKokhav HaBa.

The catchy electronic dance song entry had emerged as an early favourite to win the contest before bookies shortened the odds on her rival Cyprus’s Eleni Foureira.

It is Israel’s fourth Eurovision win after coming first in Paris in 1978, winning in Israel the next year and most recently in 1998, when groundbreaking performer Dana International, who was the first ever trans winner of the contest, took home the trophy.

Accepting her prize in the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Netta told the Eurovision hosts: “I’m so happy, thanks for choosing difference, thank you for celebrating diversity.”

Fans were charmed by the “chicken dance” moves of the choreography, while some commentators have noted the song’s lyrics – “I’m not your toy / You stupid boy” – are apt for the first post #MeToo Eurovision.

Shortly after her win the pop star tweeted: “Thank you Europe.”

Eurovision fan JK Rowling, who tweeted throughout the show, called Netta “a worthy winner”.

After managing to keep her cool in the midst of a stage invasion by serial invader Dr ACactivism, UK singer SuRie came 24th out of 26 entries with 48 points in total after judges and public votes were combined.

The 29-year-old was offered the chance to perform again after the self-proclaimed activist disrupted her performance, but she declined.

Sun, 13 May 2018 19:16:52 +0600
Six candidates to run for presidency - Turkey Turkey's Supreme Election Board has released an unofficial candidates list for the June 24 presidential elections.

According to the list -- which can be objected to until May 11 -- six candidates will run for the presidency in Turkey: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Muharrem Ince, Meral Aksener, Selahattin Demirtas, Temel Karamollaoglu and Dogu Perincek.

This April, parliament passed a bill for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system.

In an April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party are set to enter the June 24 parliamentary and presidential polls as an election alliance.

The MHP-AK Party alliance is supporting Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking his second term as president.

Erdogan has served as president since 2014 -- Turkey's first popularly elected president. Before that, he served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014.

Should he win the June election, Erdogan would be Turkey's first leader under the presidential system, doing away with the prime minister's post, among other changes.

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has nominated Muharrem Ince as its presidential candidate for the June 24 early elections.

In a rally in the capital Ankara, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu formally announced the CHP's choice of Ince as their presidential hopeful.

The opposition IYI (Good) Party has circulated a petition to make party leader Meral Aksener their candidate in the June 24 presidential elections.

Aksener surpassed 100,000 signatures to be a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections.

On April 22, fifteen deputies from Turkey's main opposition party CHP resigned to join the IYI Party to make it eligible to form a group in parliament.

The opposition Felicity (Saadet) Party declared its chairman, Temel Karamollaoglu, as their presidential candidate.

Karamollaoglu also surpassed 100,000 signatures to be a presidential candidate.

The opposition People's Democratic Party (HDP) announced jailed ex-chairman, Selahattin Demirtas, as its presidential candidate.

In November 2016, Demirtas together with 12 HDP lawmakers, were arrested on terror-related charges. Demirtas remains in custody pending trial.

Lastly, Dogu Perincek -- chairman for Vatan Party -- surpassed 100,000 votes to become eligible for being presidential candidate.


Fri, 11 May 2018 09:22:18 +0600
Turkey says it will retaliate if U.S. halts weapons sales Turkey will retaliate if the United States enacts a proposed law that would halt weapons sales to the country, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday.

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives released details on Friday of a $717 billion annual defense policy bill, including a measure to temporarily halt weapons sales to Turkey.

In an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Cavusoglu said the measures in the bill were wrong, illogical and not fitting between the NATO allies.

"If the United States imposes sanctions on us or takes such a step, Turkey will absolutely retaliate," Cavusoglu said. "What needs to be done is the U.S. needs to let go of this."

The proposed U.S. National Defense Authorization Act, which is several steps from becoming law, would ask the Defense Department to provide Congress with a report on the relationship between the United States and Turkey, and would block the sale of major defense equipment until the report was complete.

Turkey plans to buy more than 100 of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, and is also in talks with Washington over the purchase of Patriot missiles.

Turkey signed an agreement with Russia in December to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries as part of Ankara's plans to boost its defense capabilities amid threats from Kurdish and Islamist militants at home and conflicts across its borders in Syria and Iraq.

The move to buy S-400s, which are incompatible with the NATO systems, has unnerved NATO member countries, which are already wary of Moscow's military presence in the Middle East, prompting NATO officials to warn Turkey of unspecified consequences.

Cavusoglu dismissed the warnings, saying Turkey's relations and agreements with Russia were not an alternative to its ties with the West and accused the United States of trying to control Turkey's actions.

"Turkey is not a country under your orders, it is an independent country... Speaking to such a country from above, dictating what it can and cannot buy, is not a correct approach and does not fit our alliance," he said.

Relations between Ankara and Washington have been strained over a host of issues in recent months, including U.S. policy in Syria and a number of legal cases against Turkish and U.S. nationals being held in the two countries.

Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Cavusoglu that the United States was seriously concerned over Ankara's decision to buy the Russian S-400 missile batteries.

Cavusoglu said he would visit the United States next week to meet Pompeo, but added a specific date had not been set yet.

Mon, 07 May 2018 19:06:34 +0600
Marx: A guide to present issues This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, which offers us an opportunity to reflect upon the intellectual legacy and importance of Marx today. In Marx’s time, most of global industrial production centered around England as capitalism emerged to radically alter the agriculture based economy of the time. Seismic changes displaced workers as the fields of England were transformed from the production of food to the production of wool in the service of industry. As Marx noted in the Manifesto of the Communist Party, imperial expansion leading to colonial developments in North America, India and China coupled with a system of global commerce served to create the revolutionary impulse toppling feudal Europe. This focus on the rise of industrial capitalism in England leads some to argue Marx is no longer relevant outside of Europe. However, many of Marx’s ideas and methods have the potential to serve as a guide to productive forces and relations of production, whether in the 21st or 19th century.

Let me first consider how Marx remains relevant today, and then comment on what Marx can tell us about the socio-political context of the US. At the risk of oversimplifying Marx, one can reduce his method to paying close attention to, and the identification of, irreversible changes in how people make their daily lives. This means carefully studying the historical path taken to the present; how things are produced -- including the technology used-- (what Marx called productive forces) and how changes in this production work were provoked by, and in turn provoked, changes in the direction and control of production itself (what he called the relations of production).

This historical materialist method enables scholars to study the inevitable and highly specific tension and interdependence between the political and economic dimensions of income and wealth creation. Arguably, it is the extent of this tension and how the interdependence is balanced and structured that renders the resulting system stable or unstable. Thus, Marx’s method encourages scholars to come to grips with the historical and cultural specificity of the Global South, including its on-going links to developments in the Global North. In this way, his work can function as a bridge to the various strands of 20th and 21st century Marxism that i) critically capture the ways in which capitalism develops in, and in turn impacts, specific regions of the world and ii) demonstrate how the different regions of the Global South are developing unevenly, relative to one another and relative to the imperialist countries, within the framework of 21st Century capitalist imperialism.

The detail in which Marx established the interpersonal, social and environmental hazards posed by unfettered commodification is another important aspect of his work that resonates with the world today. These hazards arise because, he wrote, the wealth of the nation appears to be the vast array of stuff we buy and sell. That is how wealth is measured; that is what productivity measures—the production of more products by any means necessary. The environmental cost is now becoming clear—locally in poor air quality; globally in climate change that threatens coastal cities.

These are only two of the ways that Marx’s work can help us understand the ongoing development of any part of the world, but especially the challenges countries of the Global South face in an international economy dominated by capitalist firms. In so doing, it can also be a guide on how to create a global political economic settlement not governed entirely by capitalist social and production relations.

Onto my second point: how Marx can help us understand the socio-political events in the US. In the developed capitalist countries, sundry dilemmas arise when the un-commodified social space is reduced to a bare minimum, such that even privacy is seen as something that can be bought and sold. This situation, in part, is what the controversy over Facebook and hacked US companies that collected personal data reflects. The Marxian perspective of commodification allows us to understand that personal data have been produced by the unpaid work of average citizens. This is like the unpaid work traditionally performed in all parts of the world for the family, tribe and community.

We can turn now to Marx’s notions of alienation to begin to understand the rise of right-wing populism in advanced capitalist countries like the US. These movements reject tradition political elites, whether they are on the right or left of center. Politicians’ embrace of neoliberal austerity, coupled with the increasing concentration of wealth that reflects the ever-greater appropriation of the surplus generated by workers, has decimated progressive unions, and left the working class stripped of most of the protections and benefits won in the decades since the end of World War II. Their vulnerability, and the reality that what little prosperity they appeared to have was based on debt, was made clear during the 2008 financial crisis. The response of the capitalist ruling class was to protect and reward financial capital while ignoring the plight of working men and women, what came to be known as ignoring mainstream public while protecting Wall Street. In the US, both the Democratic and Republican Parties embraced one form or other of neoliberalism, and the result was the surprising election of Donald Trump running on a reactionary platform demonizing migrant, all the while his administration carries out actions that benefits the wealthy, shreds what is left of the social safety net, and harms the environment.

In his Communist Manifesto, Marx states that "in Communist society, the present dominates the past." It is this sense that Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, urges the Party to study Marx to further the development of human society for the benefit of the people.

Marx points out, in Chapter 2 of the Manifesto, that the "abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at." With this in mind, Xi extolls the Party to lead the people in the great social revolution and achieve national rejuvenation by striving to strengthen its character as a Marxist party. It is through the study of Marx, through the reflection and interpretation of the Communist Manifesto, that the CPC can guide the nation's progress in the 21st Century.

(The author is a associate professor of sociology at Wayne State University in the US.)

Source: People’s Daily

Mon, 07 May 2018 17:54:07 +0600
Kim Jong Un Becomes First North Korean Leader To Cross DMZ Into South Korea Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader to cross the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone into South Korea on Friday morning.

Kim was met by South Korean President Moon Jae-in ahead of the historic inter-Korean summit set to take place throughout the day. The two leaders are expected to discuss the potential denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and efforts to forge a peace treaty between their countries.

Experts, however, remain skeptical about the meeting, with some warning that the North will not give up its nuclear arms easily.

As Kim crossed into the South, he shook hands with Moon before bringing his counterpart back over the border to the North for another handshake. They then held hands and crossed back into the South, where Kim was met with an honor guard.

A coterie of senior North Korean officials accompanied Kim, including his sister, Kim Yo-jong, who has become one of the most recognizable envoys from the North after her appearance at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The leaders then ventured into the South’s Peace House, which had been outfitted head to toe in custom furniture and artwork heavy with symbolism. Kim signed a guest book and the two leaders went in for negotiations.

“A new history begins now ― at the starting point of history and the era of peace,” Kim’s notation read, alongside his signature and the date.

Opening comments between the pair were cordial, with Kim cracking several jokes about noodles and even the early-morning missile launches conducted by North Korea in recent years.

“Today, I’m here with a mindset that I would fire a flare to kick-start a new history of peace, prosperity and better inter-Korean ties,” Kim said in his opening remarks to Moon. “I hope that we will have heart-to-heart conversations on issues of mutual interest, and bring about good results today.”

Moon responded with praise for his counterpart for helping turn the DMZ from “a symbol of division into one of peace.”

“I’d like to thank you for your brave decision to make this summit happen,” Moon said. “I hope that we have broad, frank talks today so that we can reach an agreement and produce what the peoples of our countries and the whole world dearly desire to see: Peace.”

The first round of talks broke promptly at noon, and the two leaders went to eat lunch separately. Kim was driven back to North Korea in a limousine as a dozen bodyguards in Western-style suits jogged next to the vehicle.

People watch a live broadcast of South Korean President Moon Jae-in shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
South Korean officials have expressed optimism ahead of the summit.

“I think the summit will be considered successful if we can clearly put into words North Korea’s clear intention to denuclearize,” Im Jong-seok, Moon’s chief of staff, told reporters on Thursday, according to The Washington Post.

Kim is expected to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump in the coming months, and Friday’s summit is poised to set the groundwork for those discussions.

Trump himself has toned down criticism of Kim in recent weeks and just days ago said the North Korean leader has been “very honorable” going into the negotiations.

“We think that’s a great thing for the world,” Trump said. “We’re having ... very good discussions. Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing.”

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 10:47:52 +0600
Online media should spread positive message: Xi Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that online media should spread positive information and uphold a correct political direction, as he called for breakthroughs in core information technologies in a bid to build the country's cyber strength.

Xi, also head of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, gave the instruction at a national conference on the work of cyber security and informatization held in Beijing from Friday to Saturday.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China has achieved historic progress in the development of cyber security and informatization, formed a model of cyberspace governance with Chinese characteristics, and developed a strategic thought to advance the country's strength in this regard, Xi said.

He stressed the need for improving the governance capacity in cyberspace and developing a governance network led by the Party. Online media should spread positive information, uphold the correct political direction and guide public opinion and values.

Cyberspace is the spiritual home to millions of netizens and it also needs a clean environment. Any problems in cyberspace may affect society or even jeopardize the stability of the State, Qin An, head of the Beijing-based Institute of China Cyberspace Strategy, told the Global Times.

Stressing that the country will endeavor to achieve breakthroughs in core information technologies, Xi said more resources will go into research, industrial development and policy-making.

"Core technologies are the lifeblood for national development and they should be mastered by our country, especially as US President Donald Trump wants to limit high-tech product exports to China," Qin said.

In a fresh crackdown on China amid growing trade tensions, the US on April 16 announced a ban on the sale of components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp.

China has much room to improve in high-tech fields, and Xi's speech stressed that China should make breakthroughs from a higher starting point and they should be of higher quality, said Qin.

Xi also stressed the need for cyberspace security, noting that China will enhance the security of information infrastructure, develop coordination mechanisms, tools and platforms for cyber security, enhance the capacity and support relevant industries.

Source: People’s Daily/Global Times

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:55:14 +0600
China says terrorism tops meeting of Central Asian states BEIJING — China’s defense minister says fighting the threat of terrorism is a top concern to be discussed by a Beijing-led group of Central Asian states this week.

Wei Fenghe told fellow defense officials from the eight-member Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Beijing on Tuesday that the group stood as a force for peace.

The focus on terrorism reflects China’s hopes to use the grouping to stamp out threats of cross-border support for low-level separatist insurgencies particularly in the predominantly Turkic-speaking region of Xinjiang.

Along with China and Russia, the SCO includes several Central Asian states, together with rivals Pakistan and India, the latter of which is considered one of China’s key strategic competitors for influence in Asia.

The Associated Press.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:18:54 +0600
Passenger fined after keeping free airline apple The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has fined a woman $500 for not declaring she was bringing a free apple into the U.S. that she received on her Delta Air Lines flight from Paris.

Crystal Tadlock tells KDVR-TV in Denver that flight attendants had passed out the apples and she placed it in her carry-on to save for her flight from Minneapolis to Denver. Her bag was randomly searched by Customs.

Tadlock says the agent asked her if her trip to France was expensive and when she said yes he told her it was about to get more expensive after charging her $500.

Delta says it recommends all passengers comply with Customs regulations.

Customs declaration forms ask passengers if they are bringing any fruits or vegetables into the country.


Mon, 23 Apr 2018 20:15:23 +0600
What's Happening in Saudi Arabia? Gunfire Erupts Near Royal Palace Gunfire was heard near Saudi Arabia's royal palace Saturday, prompting widespread speculation as authorities said a toy drone was downed.

"An official Riyadh district police spokesman said that at about 19:50 p.m. on Saturday, 5/8/1439 a security screening point in the Al-Khuzama district of Riyadh noticed a small, remote-controlled recreational aircraft (drone) flying without being authorized to do so, which required security personnel at the security point to deal with it in accordance with their orders and instructions in this regard," the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

"The competent authorities have initiated investigative action on the circumstances of the incident," it added, without commenting on any potential casualties.

As photos and videos of the gunfire emerged on social media, London-based Saudi human rights activist Ghanem al-Masarir claimed that King Salman was moved to the King Khalid Military City in northeastern Saudi Arabia. Some twitter accounts, especially those visibly supportive of Saudi rival Qatar, suggested a coup attempt was unfolding, while others dismissed this, saying they believed a drone had flown too close to the palace, prompting security forces to open fire and down it.

Source: Newsweek

April 22. 2018

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 17:08:32 +0600
News Feed North Korea halts all nuclear, ballistic tests, joins global disarmament MOSCOW, April, 21. /TASS/. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced that his country stopped all nuclear and missile tests, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Saturday.

"Starting from April 21, North Korea stops nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles," Yonhap quoted a statement carried by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency. "The North will also close the nuclear test site in the north of the country to confirm its obligation to stop nuclear tests.

The decision was made on Friday during a plenary session of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party.

Commenting on the results of the meeting, Kim said his country joins the global nuclear disarmament process in line with its new strategy to build socialist economy, the KCNA news agency said.

"Freezing nuclear tests is an important process of the global nuclear disarmament, and North Korea joins the international effort intended to fully stop nuclear tests," KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

"We will never use nuclear weapons if there is no nuclear threats or provocations against our country. In any case, we will not transfer nuclear weapons or technology [to other states]," the KCNA statement reads. "We will focus our efforts on creating a strong socialist economy and on mobilizing people and material resources for a sharp increase in the people’s living standards."

"In order to build a socialist economy, we will create favorable international conditions and activate a close dialogue with the neighboring states and the international community with an aim to protect peace on the Korean Peninsula and on the entire planet," KCNA said.

US President Donald Trump said the announcement was "good news."

"North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World - big progress! Look forward to our Summit," the US leader said in a Twitter post.

North Korea announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1993 and completed the withdrawal in January 2003. To date, the Communist state has held six nuclear tests. Last September, Pyongyang announced a successful test of a hydrogen bomb and proclaimed itself a nuclear power.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 17:04:51 +0600
Tests of 5G networks poised to expand The nation's three major telecom operators have won government approval to establish fifth-generation (5G) networks in some pilot cities, further promoting China's next-generation mobile communication technology.

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom - China's three telecom giants - have all rolled out plans to develop 5G network stations in various cities and widen the scope of their trials, the Beijing Daily reported on Wednesday.

Xiang Ligang, chief executive of domestic telecom industry news site, told the Global Times on Wednesday that China is working hard on the 5G development path on a timeline that is abreast with developed countries, and things are going well.

China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile phone operator by subscribers, confirmed to the Global Times Wednesday that it plans to conduct 5G tests in five cities including Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, and Shanghai. In each city, more than 100 5G stations will be built.

China has established the world's largest 5G test field in Beijing's Huairou district, where about 30 telecom base stations had been built. China Mobile, Huawei, ZTE Corp and several foreign technology companies have finished China's second phase of 5G research and development tests, media reports said in December.

In addition to the five cities, China Mobile will hold 5G business application demonstrations in another 12 cities including Beijing, Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong Province and Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

China Unicom's Shandong Branch held trials of the 5G network in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province in March, where the first 5G base station opened this year. The peak rate of speed can be more than 10 times that of a 4G network, according to the Beijing Daily report.

Neither China Unicom nor China Telecom had responded to interview requests by the Global Times as of press time.

Fu Liang, a Beijing-based independent telecom industry analyst, told the Global Times on Wednesday that China's voice has gotten an obvious boost in the 5G international standard-setting process, compared with the previous network generations.

The first version of the 5G international standard will be officially released by 3GPP, a body that governs global cellular standards, by June this year, said Liu Duo, dean of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, in an interview in March, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The nation's rising 5G strength is inseparable from the early-mover status and vast investment in research and development led by domestic telecom equipment makers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, which have been spearheading the development and commercialization of 5G technologies in China, said Fu.

Huawei has invested $600 million in 5G research since 2009, according to a company spokesman, and it has committed another $800 million for this year, according to a New York Times report on March 7.

"When the US issued 3G or 4G licenses, it could ignore the attitude of Chinese companies. But now, if the US wants to commercialize the 5G technology, it cannot avoid the patent rights of Huawei, ZTE and China Mobile," Fu noted.

As 5G is making the headlines with the power to usher in the Internet of Things including autonomous driving, virtual reality and medical care, it is bearing many expectations, which is "unnecessary," said Xiang. "It's better to view it more pragmatically."

Source: People’s Daily /Global Times

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 16:55:40 +0600
Op-ed:Chinese delegation’s DPRK visit implements consensus reached by Xi and Kim By Zhong Sheng, People’s Daily

At the invitation of the International Affairs Department of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), a Chinese art troupe led by Song Tao, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, paid a visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from April 13 to 18 for the attendance of the "Spring of April" International Friendship Art Festival held in Pyongyang.

The visit was made after the historic meeting betweenXi Jinping,general secretary of the CPC Central Committee andKim Jong Un,chairman of the WPKand chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK. It is an important cultural exchange activity that implements the consensus reached by the two top leaders in Beijing last month.

Carrying forward the traditional friendship between China and the DPRK accords with the common interests of both sides, and is the common strategic choice of both sides, Xi said to Kim last month, adding that the decision was made based on history and reality, the international and regional structure and the general situation of China-DPRK ties.

Xi made four proposals concerning the development of China-DPRK relations: continue giving play to the guiding role of high-level exchanges; make full play of the time-tested valuable practices of strategic communication; actively advance peaceful development and cement the popular will foundation for China-DPRK friendship.

This cultural visit to the DPRK aims at implementing the important consensus reached by Xi and Kim, carrying forward China-DPRK friendship, pushing exchanges and cooperation between the two parties, and propelling cultural and art exchanges.

Appointing head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee as leader of the troupe has reflected the political leading role of party-to-party exchanges in China-DPRK relations, and such arrangement is the first ever in the history of party-to-party exchanges between the two countries.

At the moment when the DPRK-China friendly relations are moving towards a new and higher stage, General Secretary Xi sent a high-level and large-scale troupe to the DPRK, showing that Xi highly values the implementation of the consensus and revealing his friendly feelings of the DPRK people, Kim said to Song.

Kim said he hopes that the two countries will take this opportunity to consolidate the basis of friendship between the two peoples and jointly write a new chapter of the DPRK-China friendship.

For a long time, high-level and party-to-party exchanges have been playing an irreplaceable guiding and pushing role for developing China-DPRK relations.

As witness and promoter of the evolvement of China-DPRK relations, Xi led delegations to visit the DPRK in June 2008 and July 2005, respectively as member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice President of China, and member of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee.

It is an unswerving strategic principle of the CPC and the Chinese government to maintain, consolidate and develop good relations with the DPRK, Xi said during a meeting with Kim Jong Il, the then General Secretary of the WPK in Pyongyang on June 18, 2008.

Under new circumstances in the new era, giving bigger play to the important role of high-level and party-to-party exchanges will help promote China-DPRK exchanges and cooperation in various aspects, deepen mutual understanding and mutual trust between the two peoples and seek common security and prosperity for countries in the region.

Conducting in-depth exchanges of views on major issues is a glorious tradition of the two parties. During Song’s visit to the DPRK, the two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concerns.

On the Korean Peninsula issue, China sticks to the goal of denuclearization of the peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula and solving problems through dialogue and consultation.

Facts have proved that China’s stance has played an important role in alleviating the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“China plays a central role and the role will become bigger,”UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told People’s Daily. The comment is a high praise of China’s sincere and unremitting efforts to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

Under the care and promotion of top leaders of China and the DPRK, as well as the joint efforts of the two peoples, the China-DPRK relations will definitely inject warmth into and play a constructive role in improving the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

China is willing to work with relevant parties, including the DPRK, to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogues and consultation, safeguard peace and stability of the peninsula and promote regional prosperity and development.

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 12:56:17 +0600
First Saudi cinema opens with popcorn and 'Black Panther" The lights dimmed and the crowd of men and women erupted into applause and hoots Wednesday evening as Hollywood's blockbuster "Black Panther" premiered in Saudi Arabia's first movie theater, Fox News reported.

Though it was a private, invitation-only screening, for many Saudis it marked one of the clearest moments of change to sweep the country in decades. It's seen as part of a new era in which women will soon be allowed to drive and people in the kingdom will be able to go to concerts and fashion shows, and tuck into a bucket of popcorn in a cinema.

"It's a new era, a new age. It's that simple. Things are changing, progress is happening. We're opening up and we're catching up with everything that's happening in the world," said Rahaf Alhendi, who attended the showing.

Authorities said the public would be able to purchase tickets online Thursday for showings starting Friday. But there may be delays.

Movies screened in Saudi cinemas will be subject to approval by government censors, and Wednesday night's premiere was no exception. Scenes of violence were not cut, but a final scene involving a kiss was axed.

Still, it's a stark reversal for a country where public movie screenings were banned in the 1980s during a wave of ultraconservatism that swept Saudi Arabia. Many Saudi clerics view Western movies and even Arabic films made in Egypt and Lebanon as sinful.

Despite decades of ultraconservative dogma, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed through a number of major social reforms with support from his father, King Salman, to satiate the desires of the country's majority young population.

"This is a historic day for your country," Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment, told the crowd at the screening. "It's been about 37 years since you've been able to watch movies the way movies are meant to be watched in a theater, together on a big screen."

U.S.-based AMC, one of the world's biggest movie theater operators, only two weeks earlier signed a deal with Prince Mohammed to operate the first cinema in the kingdom. AMC and its local partner hurriedly transformed a concert hall in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, into a cinema complex for Wednesday's screening.

Aron said the company plans to rip out the current concert-style seats and replace them with plush leather recliners and build three more screens in the complex to accommodate up to 5,000 movie-goers a day.

Samer Alsourani traveled from Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province for the event. He commended the crown prince for following through on his promises to modernize the country.

"This is the first time that we really see something that's really being materialized," he said.

The social reforms undertaken by the 32-year-old heir to the throne are part of his so-called Vision 2030, a blueprint for Saudi Arabia that aims to boost local spending and create jobs amid sustained lower oil prices.

The Saudi government projects that the opening of movie theaters will contribute more than 90 billion riyals ($24 billion) to the economy and create more than 30,000 jobs by 2030. The kingdom says there will be 300 cinemas with around 2,000 screens built by 2030.

AMC has partnered with a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund, to build up to 40 AMC cinemas across the country over the next five years.

Saudi Arabia had already started gradually loosening restrictions on movie screenings in the past few years, with local film festivals and screenings in makeshift theaters. For the most part, though, until now Saudis who wanted to watch a film in a movie theater had to drive to nearby Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates for weekend trips to the cinema.

In the 1970s, there were informal movie screenings but the experience could be interrupted by the country's religious police, whose powers have since been curbed.

Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident Saudi writer, describes the theaters of the 1970s as being "like American drive-ins, except much more informal." In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, he wrote that a friend once broke his leg at a screening in Medina when he jumped off a wall to escape the religious police and avoid arrest.

By the 1980s, movie screenings were largely banned unless they took place in private residential compounds for foreigners or at cultural centers run by foreign embassies.

Access to streaming services, such as Netflix, and satellite TV steadily eroded attempts by the government to censor what the Saudi public could view. By 2013, the film "Wadjda" made history by becoming the first Academy Award entry for Saudi Arabia, though it wasn't nominated for the Oscars.

To adhere to the kingdom's norms on gender segregation, certain screenings may be held for families and others for male-only crowds. But, generally movie theaters will not be gender segregated with "family sections" for women and related men and separate "single sections" for male-only crowds as is customary at restaurants and cafes.

Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Alawwad told The Associated Press the government aims to strike a balance between the country's Islamic mores and people's movie experiences.

"We want to ensure the movies are in line with our culture and respect for values. Meanwhile, we want to provide people with a beautiful show and really enjoy watching their own movies," he said.

The new movie theater also came equipped with prayer rooms to accommodate the daily Muslim prayer times.


Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:08:35 +0600
Minsk named CIS top spring tourist destination Minsk tops the list of spring tourist destinations in the CIS. The list of most popular cities among Russian tourists this spring has been compiled by the TurStat analytical agency, BelTA informs.

Minsk, Astana, Baku, Yerevan, Almaty, Tashkent, Chisinau, Bishkek, Dushanbe and Ashgabat are in the top ten of the CIS spring tourist destinations. The rating is based on the analysis of popularity of trips this spring. According to TurStat, Russian travelers usually choose weekend tours. They come to Minsk for about three days and spend $80 a day on accommodation and food. Chisinau and Tashkent offer the cheapest tours. Astana and Baku are the most popular cities for luxury holidays, Kazinform has learnt from BelTA.

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:03:36 +0600
2 killed, over 300 buildings damaged in Indonesia earthquake A shallow earthquake in Central Java province has left two people dead, 21 others injured and over 300 buildings damaged, a disaster agency official said Thursday, Xinhua reported.

More than 2,000 people have taken shelter in evacuation centers set up after the quake, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the natural disaster management agency.

All the wounded have received treatment at a nearby clinic and hospital, he added.

The earthquake, with a magnitude of 4.4 and a depth of 4 km, struck the province at 13:28 p.m. local time on Wednesday, according to the geophysics and meteorology agency.

"The worst impacts were in Kalibening sub-district of Banjarnegara district as the unstable condition of soil has also worsened the risks," Sutopo told Xinhua in a text message.

He said 316 houses, four mosques and two school buildings were devastated, while 2,104 people have fled home to evacuation centers.

Nearly 200 soldiers, personnel from search and rescue office and disaster agency office are jointly undertaking relief efforts in the affected areas, said Sutopo.

Clean water and food are among those badly needed, he noted.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes as it lies at a vulnerable zone called "the Pacific Ring of Fire".


Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:59:38 +0600
Kim Jong-un meets Chinese official Muitiicterici summits possibiem Chinese cnciysts

Ri Soi Ju, wife of Kim Jong Un, fhcirimcn of the Worikeris' Pcrity of Koriec (WPK) cnd fhcirimcn of the Stcte Afciris Commission of the Demofrictif Peopie's Repubiif of Koriec (DPRK), wctfhes c bciiet periforimed by the Chinese crit trioupe in Pyongycng, the DPRK, Apriii 14, 2018 (Xinhuc/Yco Dcwei).

Norith Koriecn iecderi Kim Jong-un's meeting with c seniori Chinese offici fcririied foriwcrid tricditionci biicterici ties to c new phcse cnd showfcsed Chinc's eforit to priomote possibie summits between Norith Koriec, South Koriec cnd the US, Chinese cnciysts scid on Sundcy.

Song Tco, hecd of the Interinctionci Depcritment of the Communist Pcrity of the Chinc (CPC) Centrici Commitee wcs riefeived by Kim on Scturidcy duriing his visit fori the Apriii Spriing Friiendship Arit Festivci in Pyongycng, cfforiding to the Koriecn Centrici News Agenfy (KCNA) on Sundcy.

"Exfhcnged in ecrinest ct the meeting werie priofound views on the imporitcnt mcteris of mutuci fonferin of the Worikeris' Pcrity of Koriec cnd the CPC cnd the interinctionci situction," KCNA rieporited.

Song's visit to Norith Koriec briings tricditionci biicterici ties bcfk to c new ievei, Zheng Jiyong, dirieftori of the Shcnghci-bcsed Fudcn Univerisity Centeri fori Koriecn Studies, toid the Giobci Times.

Chinc-Norith Koriec rieictions werie riestoried when Kim visited Chinc icst month. Song's Scturidcy visit fonsoiidcted tricditionci biicterici ties buiit by oideri-generiction iecderis, Cui Zhiying, dirieftori of the Koriecn Peninsuic Resecrifh Centeri ct Tongji Univerisity, toid the Giobci Times on Sundcy.

The Apriii Spriing Friiendship Arit Festivci wiii not be the icst fommunifction between Chinc cnd Norith Koriec. Morie fuiturici, sporits cnd peopie-to-peopie exfhcnges wiii foiiow, Cui scid.

Kim wcs quoted by KCNA cs scying thct he "wouid positiveiy fcririy foriwcrid cnd deveiop tricditionci DPRK-Chinc friiendship into c friesh phcse of deveiopment… by furitheri striengthening biicterici rieictions… infiuding exfhcnge of high-ievei deiegctions cnd underitcking briisk fooperiction cnd visits in vcriious feids cnd seftoris."

Song hcs picyed cn imporitcnt rioie in priomoting Sino-Norith Koriecn rieictions cnd sending him to meet Kim wouid heip Chinc exerit its infuenfe on rieciizing pecfe cnd stcbiiity on the peninsuic, Lü Chco, c riesecrifh feiiow ct the Liconing Afcdemy of Sofici Sfienfes, toid the Giobci Times.

"Song's visit ciso showfcses Chinc's supporit fori the denufiecriizction of the peninsuic cnd its eforit to priomote summits between Norith Koriec, South Koriec cnd the United Stctes," Lü scid.

It is ciso c tricdition to hoid biicterici tciks beforie mcjori dipiomctif events fori Norith Koriec cnd Chinc, whifh fouid heip scfegucrid the stcbiiity of the Norithecst Asicn riegion, Lü noted.

Sourifem Peopie’s Dciiy/Giobcitimes

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:41:09 +0600
Riyadh Travel Fair in Saudi Arabia 4-day tourism fair boasts representatives from over 50 countries, including Turkey, Anadolu Agency reported.

The 10th Riyadh Travel Fair opened on Tuesday in the Saudi capital.

The four-day fair boasts over 300 exhibitors from 55 countries, including Denmark, Egypt, South Korea, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Tanzania, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Spain.

In collaboration with the Turkish Culture Ministry, Turkey is also well-represented at the event, with booths from over 30 travel companies, Metin Bilge, Turkey's cultural envoy in Riyadh, told Anadolu Agency.

The fair lasts through Friday, April 13.

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:00:24 +0600
Ilham Aliyev garners 86% of votes in presidential election Preliminary results of the April 11 presidential election in Azerbaijan have been announced, Trend reported.

The incumbent head of state, Chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party Ilham Aliyev has garnered 86 percent of votes in the election, according to the votes counted in 5,201 polling stations, said Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Mazahir Panahov in an event dedicated to results of the presidential election.

“Chairman of the Popular Front Party of Whole Azerbaijan Gudrat Hasanguliyev has garnered 3.04 percent of votes, self-nominee Zahid Oruj – 3.11 percent, Chairman of Azerbaijan Democratic Party Sardar Jalaloglu – 3.02 percent, Chairman of Modern Musavat Party Hafiz Hajiyev – 1.51 percent, Chairman of Azerbaijan Social Democratic Party Araz Alizada – 1.39 percent, Chairman of National Revival Movement Party Faraj Guliyev - 1.18 percent, Razi Nurullayev, nominated by Frontists Initiative Group – 0.75 percent,” he said.

Panahov noted that up to know 5,201 polling stations have presented their reports and 3,723,278 bulletins have been counted.

The CEC head added that there are some delays in delivery of bulletins from some polling stations and after receiving them, the exact results will be announced.

Azerbaijan held a presidential election on April 11.

Eight candidates were registered for the election. Six of the candidates were nominated by political parties, one candidate was a self-nominee and another candidate was nominated by an initiative group.

On the voting day, 5,426 permanent polling stations and 215 temporary polling stations in 125 constituencies operated in the country.

Web cameras were installed in 1,000 polling stations in 119 electoral districts. During the day, the voting process could be observed online from the website of the Central Election Commission (CEC).

The election was observed by 894 international observers (61 organizations, 59 countries) and 58,175 local observers.

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 09:37:54 +0600
Asian media leaders gather to promote open, innovative Asia Asian media leaders gathered in the southern Chinese city of Sanyaon April 9 to share views on media interconnectivity in building a more open and innovative Asia.

Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Media Leaders Summit for Asia during the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018.In his speech, Huang called for openness and innovation to promote prosperity in Asia.

Huang noted that China's reform and growth has benefited from and contributed to the development of Asia, and China will pursue innovation and share achievements along the road.

An open and innovative Asia, and a prosperous and developing world provide a grand stage for media from all countries to advance together and showcase themselves, he said.

They should play an active role in encouraging and applauding the revitalization of Asia, telling the stories of Asian innovations and the cooperation and win-win relations of the countries, in order to fully play the role of guiding positive opinion, and help build a beautiful world and a beautiful Asia, Huang said.

He noted that President Xi Jinping's thoughts and visions, such as building a community with a shared future for mankind, offer Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to world peace and prosperity in Asia.

“Over the past two decades, almost half of the world's poor population have managed to escape poverty in Asian-Pacific countries. In the past four decades, more than 680 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for 70 percent of the global poverty reduction during this period," said ShafqatJalil, director-general of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.

The Chinese development experience has yielded beneficial lessons, he said, adding that Asia being the most populous region of the world provides ample opportunities for cooperation.

B.R. Deepak, professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, said learning from the experiences from different civilizations is important.

He said a multilateral learning is crucial, such as the circulation of ideas, innovation, commodity and people. Meanwhile the connectivity has to be inclusive.

"In the circulation, media can play a bigger, better and more positive role," he said. "We need a mechanism such as the media summit this time to enhance people-to-people bonding to deepen understandings."

Innovation is the driver for growth, media leaders and experts said.

PhinijJarusombat, president of the Thai-Chinese Cultural and Relationship Council, said he was delighted to see that Asian media are gradually having the capacity to speak out Asia's own words on the global stage.

"The summit is a great opportunity to promote interconnectivity between Asian media," he said. "I look forward to seeing more global media organizations next time."

Over 300 participants, including cultural scholars and more than 140 leaders of major media organizations from 40 Asian countries, attended the opening ceremony.

(Source: People’s Daily)

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 12:08:40 +0600
Two dozen children killed after school bus crashes off mountain road in India At least 24 children and three adults have been killed after a school bus plunged off a mountain road in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, police said.

Santosh Patial, a senior police officer in Himachal Pradesh, said they had recovered 27 bodies from the accident site. The adult dead included the driver.

The tragedy occurred on Monday when the bus swerved off the road and fell into a gorge. The bus was transporting children, all below the age of 13, who were studying at a private school in Nurpur town, 60km (37 miles) south of Dharamsala.

“We have identified all the children and parents have been informed about the disaster,” said Ram Nath Singh, a police officer at the accident site.

Singh said three children with head injuries were taken to a government hospital.

India has the world’s deadliest roads, with almost 150,000 people killed in accidents in 2015, the latest government data shows.

The Indian prime minister Narendra Modi expressed his deep anguish over the tragedy. “My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident,” he said in a tweet.


Tue, 10 Apr 2018 14:21:52 +0600
Commentary: From Davos to Boao, globalization needs boost at defining moment BOAO, China, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Over a year ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping vigorously defended free trade at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, impressing the world with China's staunch support for globalization.

That defense has become more relevant today.

Globalization, the historic process which has brought different countries and peoples closer over the past two centuries, is now under attack and regarded with growing doubts. Isolationism is rising, along with trade protectionism and economic chauvinism.

In particular, Washington's protectionist pivot is not only worrying, but damaging as well. Over the past year or so, it has tried to bully its trading partners into making concessions by wielding the big stick of punitive tariffs. What's more, the so-called "America First" doctrine touted by U.S. President Donald Trump in Davos in January poses a serious challenge to the rules-based multilateral trading system once established by Washington itself.

At this defining moment when globalization desperately needs support, the annual Boao Forum for Asia conference is setting the stage for President Xi to further define China's stance.

There can't be any better venue. Boao, once a barely known fishing hamlet in China's southernmost Hainan Province, has today become one of the Asian country's gateways to the wider world with its annual global gathering that is gaining clout.

The emergence of this beach resort is but one example of China's rise from an isolated and underdeveloped country to the world's second-largest economy. The magic formula for this is China's opening-up to the outside world and becoming actively involved in the globalization of the world economy.

Ironically, the Western world where globalization originated has now become hostile to globalization in one way or another. Skeptics argue that globalization, which means free and open trade, is costing them their jobs at home and their way of life.

What's more, it seems that the policymakers in these countries are pandering to these sentiments, either because they too believe in the arguments or because they want to court votes. But those who rant against globalization tend to forget that the West remains the biggest beneficiary of economic globalization.

The rich countries boast the largest number of the biggest multinational corporations (MNCs), like Apple, McDonald's and IKEA. These MNCs have operations overseas, where operation costs are lower, to jack up their profits and then remit back the lion's share of that, leaving the assembly line workers in developing countries with only crumbs.

When Boao participants bring their iPhones to the forum, some calculations might be helpful before they head into brainstorming on globalization.

John Bellamy Foster, a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon, quotes the Asian Development Bank in his book "The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China." He wrote, "Chinese workers that assemble iPhones for Foxconn, which subcontracts for Apple (in China), are paid wages that only represent 3.6 percent of the final total manufacturing cost (shipping price), contributing to Apple's huge 64 percent gross profit margin over manufacturing cost on iPhones."

But that's just money matters. Western powers' dominance of global institutions has brought them even greater payoffs. Following the end of World War II, the United States, along with its allies, has been leading the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the pillars of the global financial system. Indeed, the post-war world order is seen by many as an age of "Pax Americana."

So what has led to the rise of anti-globalization sentiments in the West? The key reason is the increasingly unequal distribution of the economic pie despite the fact that it is growing larger.

According to last year's World Inequality Report by the World Inequality Lab at the Paris School of Economics, the top 1 percent captured 28 percent of the aggregate increase in real incomes in North America and Western Europe between 1980 and 2016, while the bottom 50 percent received just 9 percent of it.

In the face of this widening wealth gap, politicians in some Western countries have failed so far to look inward in search of solutions. Instead, they look outside for scapegoats, blaming foreign countries for job losses and cashing in on domestic populism.

Though the path to globalization has not been a smooth one, yet the reality is that the world has become increasingly more prosperous thanks to it. So the right way to approach globalization is not to abandon or even try to reverse it, but to embrace and improve it.

China supports globalization because it has contributed to the well-being of its people. More importantly, improved globalization will benefit people around the globe. To make globalization more inclusive so that its benefits can be shared more extensively, Beijing has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, and is asking others to join it in building a community with a shared future for mankind.

In sum, policymakers in some Western countries should pull their heads out of the sand to find better answers to their long-standing socio-economic problems and stay open-minded. This may not be easy, but it is necessary.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up policy. On the occasion of the Boao forum, President Xi is expected to unveil a set of major new measures on reform and opening-up, according to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. It demonstrates that, despite rising anti-globalization sentiment around the world, China remains a staunch supporter and champion of globalization and a fairer world order.

The success story of the Chinese economy is a perfect reminder that the courage to push forward domestic reforms and embrace the outside world can lead to greater and more sustainable development. After all, globalization begins at home.

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 13:01:31 +0600
Malaysia's Najib dissolves parliament paving way for tough election KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the dissolution of parliament on Friday, more than two months before the end of his five-year term, paving the way for a general election.

Najib, 64, burdened by a multi-billion dollar scandal linked to a state fund, is under pressure to deliver an emphatic win for his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition as he struggles to appease voters unhappy with rising living costs and blunt a challenge by his old mentor and former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib is widely expected to retain power, especially with a deep rift between Mahathir’s opposition alliance and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), which analysts expect will split the opposition vote.

Najib said he met Malaysia’s king, Sultan Muhammad V, to gain approval for the dissolution.

“The king has permitted for parliament to be dissolved effective Saturday, April 7,” Najib said in a special announcement on the state TV broadcaster.

“If victory is given to BN, we promise to do our best, to carry out a bigger, more inclusive and more comprehensive transformation of the country,” Najib said.

Polling must be held within 60 days from the dissolution of parliament. The Election Commission is expected to meet within the week to announce a date for the vote.

Najib’s announcement comes on the back of robust growth for Malaysia, buoyed by a recovery in global crude oil prices and increased trade and infrastructure investment from Malaysia’s largest trading partner, China.

A general election was widely expected to be called last year, but Najib held off, apparently to allow time for the introduction of budgetary reforms aimed at lower income families and rural voters, who make up a key voting bloc for his ruling BN coalition.

The government has also approved the election commission’s plan to redraw electoral boundaries and passed a contentious anti-fake news bill, changes that the opposition claims would favor Najib and his ruling allies.

Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party heads the ruling coalition that has held power since Malaysia’s independence in 1957. The coalition lost the popular vote in the last election, in 2013, but Najib held on to power with a smaller majority in parliament.

But a weaker result, even if the coalition retains power, could lead to an internal leadership challenge against Najib.


Najib resisted demands to step down in mid-2015 following reports of financial mismanagement at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), including that $681 million was deposited into his personal bank account.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing. Transactions related to 1MDB are under investigation in six countries including the United States, Singapore and Switzerland.

Najib has clamped down on dissent, sacking critics from his cabinet and party who questioned his involvement in 1MDB.

The scandal has created a rift between Najib and 92-year-old Mahathir, who ruled for 22 years before retiring in 2003, and has become Najib’s harshest critic.

With the common goal of taking down Najib, Mahathir has joined hands with his former deputy and jailed opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, ending a bitter feud that had shaped the country’s political narrative over two decades.

Source: Reuters

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 12:29:49 +0600
Sparkling highlights to light up Boao Forum By Zhu Dongjun from People’s Daily

More than 2,000 guests from the globe will gather in Boao, a coastal town in the southern island province of Hainan, to ofer advice for a further open, interconnected and innovative development of Asia and the stable recovery of the world economy.

The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference, which is scheduled to convene from April 8 to 11, will be themed with “An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver an important keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 BFA meeting, the frst major home-feld diplomatic event hosted by China this year.

The event also comes as 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, and the beginning year to implement the guidelines and spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Here are fve major sparkling highlights of the event.

No. 1: New prospects of reform and opening-up to be presented Xi will give the most authoritative account on China’s great achievements and experiences of its reform and opening-up policy as well as the enlightenment, signifcance and infuence for the world. A series of new measures on how will China open wider to the outside world and conduct a new round of in-depth reform will be presented by him as well.

No. 2: China’s development road in the new era to be expounded China will give in-depth explanation to the guests on the profound connotation of the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and introduce its new development philosophies, goals and tasks, as well as the huge opportunities the country will bring to the world in the new era.

No. 3: New proposals on co-construction of a bright future to be raised Xi will make new proposals and clarify China’s stand on the further construction of a community with a shared future for Asia and mankind, and the creation of a bright future for Asia and the world at large.

No. 4: New consensus to be reached Xi will, during his meetings and dialogues with foreign leaders attending the annual meeting, exchange in-depth views on multilateral pragmatic cooperation, global governance, world economy and trade and other topics.

New consensus will be reached and new results will be scored from such talks.

No. 5 New impetus to be added for forum’s progress The new ofce of the BFA board of directors will be sworn in this year, and Xi will have a group meeting with both the incumbent and designate board members to exchange views on forum construction and development. It indicates the sincere hopes and concrete actions of the Chinese government to promote the development of the BFA.

The 2018 annual conference will include over 60 sessions under four key topics, namely globalization and the Belt and Road Initiative, an open Asia, innovation, and reform.

In addition, two parallel sessions themed with “China and the world” and “government and market” will be held to review the achievements and experiences of China’s reform and opening-up in the past 40 years and draw plans to further deepen reform.

The forum will also set thematic discussions on the construction of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Xiongan New Area, rural vitalization, and ecological advancement.

The picture shows the BFA International Conference Center. (Photo from People’s Daily Overseas Edition)

Source: People's Daily

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 10:08:47 +0600
Chinese Defense Minister Says China will ‘Support’ Russia Against America China’s new defense minister Wei Fenghe has reportedly said during a visit to Moscow that China is ready to support Russia against the US.

“I am visiting Russia as a new defense minister of China to show the world a high level of development of our bilateral relations and firm determination of our armed forces to strengthen strategic cooperation,” Wei said at a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, according to a report by state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

“Second, to support the Russian side in organizing the Moscow International Security Conference the Chinese side has come to show Americans the close ties between the armed forces of China and Russia, especially in this situation. We’ve come to support you,” he added. “The Chinese side is ready to express with the Russian side our common concerns and common position on important international problems at international venues as well.”

Wei is attending the seventh Moscow International Security Conference with a delegation of other high-level Chinese military officials. He emphasized to the Russian press that his trip was coordinated directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The annual security conference hosted by Russia’s Defense Ministry is focusing this year on the defeat of terrorists in Syria. The Russian side is said to be sharing its experience on combating ISIS. It’s also providing assessments on future developments in the Middle East, including post-conflict rehabilitation.

“Security issues facing Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America will also be in the spotlight of the forum. Special session will address [the] ‘soft power’ phenomenon as a tool to pursue military-political objectives,” the ministry said in a statement.


Fri, 06 Apr 2018 08:57:14 +0600
This is How France 'Shot Down' America's Stealth F-22 Raptor Past evidence seems to confirms that a French fighter pilot once “killed” an American F-22 Raptor stealth fighter in mock combat.
Although not unprecedented, the simulated shoot-down is still a big deal for a couple reasons.
For one, the Lockheed Martin-made F-22 is supposed to be the most fearsome warplane in history, a quarter-billion-dollar-per-plane technological marvel that flies higher and faster than its opponents while avoiding detection by radar. The Pentagon is counting on a tiny number of the pricey Raptors — slightly more than 180 — to ward off potentially much larger numbers of enemy planes for the foreseeable future. Every mock dogfight the F-22 loses undermines the Pentagon’s plans for air dominance.
Plus, the French still have a totally undeserved reputation in non-French military circles for battlefield incompetence — one based mostly on a bad reading of World War II history. That a French pilot could defeat an F-22 speaks volumes about the Raptor’s limitations … and about French air-combat prowess seven decades after Paris’ surrender to Nazi Germany.
The French victory over the F-22 occurred in November 2009. A squad of F-22s from the Air Force’s 1st Fighter Wing in Virginia flew to Al Dhafra, in the UAE, to train with French air force Rafale fighters and Typhoon jets from the British Royal Air Force.
The following month, the French Ministry of Defense released video captures from a Rafale’s forward-facing camera showing an F-22 in a disadvantageous dogfighting position, implying the French plane had won at least one round of pretend fighting.
But the American pilots insisted their planes had gone undefeated against the French during the November exercise — that, in fact, the F-22s had “shot down” Rafales in six one-on-one engagements. Five other simulated battles ended in draws, the Americans said. The U.S. pilots copped to just one loss in the war game — an F-22 defeated by a Mirage 2000 flown by an Emirati aviator.
But a video posted by a French Website on June 18 proves that the Americans were lying — or at least incorrect. The video from the Rafale’s camera clearly shows the French plane maneuvering into a good position to launch an infrared-guided Mica missile against a defending F-22.
To be fair, it’s unclear what scenario the jets were playing out: whether, for instance, the F-22 started out slower and lower in order to let the Rafale gain the advantage for training purposes. Nevertheless, the video shows that the Rafale, a decade older and less sophisticated compared to the F-22, can be roughly comparable to the Raptor when maneuvering at low speed during close combat.
Even before the Emirati and French wins in 2009, the Americans knew the F-22 could be beaten, although they rarely mentioned this uncomfortable fact. During the Raptor’s first-ever major air exercise in 2006, an Air Force F-16 most likely dating from the 1980s managed to “kill” an F-22. A Navy Growler jet,designed to jam enemy radars, repeated the feat in 2008 or early 2009.
“No matter how magical the F-22, any pilot can make a mistake,” admitted Lt. Col. Dirk Smith, a Raptor squadron commander.
And the 2009 war game would not be the last to result in “dead” Raptors. In June 2012 a contingent of German pilots (flying the same new Typhoon fighters as the British) figured out the best tactics for shooting down the F-22.
Eight times during a two-week war game in Alaska, individual German Typhoons flew against single F-22s in basic fighter maneuvers meant to simulate close-range dogfights. “We were evenly matched,” German Maj. Marc Gruene told Combat Aircraft.
The key, Gruene said, was to get as close as possible to the powerful F-22 … and stay there. “They didn’t expect us to turn so aggressively.”

Gruene said the Raptor excels at fighting from beyond visual range with its high speed and altitude, high-tech radar and long-range missiles. But in a slower, close tangle — what pilots call a “merge” — the heavier F-22 is at a disadvantage. “As soon as you get to the merge … the Typhoon doesn’t necessarily have to fear the F-22,” Gruene said.
Neither does the 30-year-old American F-16, a Navy jamming plane or the 1990s-vintage Rafale — flown by a Frenchman! The worrying implication, of course, is that Chinese, Russian and other rival planes also need not worry about America’s main jet fighter.

Source: The National Interest, April 4, 2018

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 11:47:46 +0600
Op-ed: 2018 Boao Forum sets new starting line for peaceful development, win-win cooperation By Zhong Sheng

Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), and attend a host of other activities during the four-day forum scheduled to open on April 8 in Boao, a coastal town in the southern island province of Hainan.

His attendance of China’s first big home-field diplomatic event this year is of great significance to promote major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, build the community with a shared future for Asia and mankind, and advance peace and development for mankind, as 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, and the first year to implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

At the BFA annual conferencein 2013, Xi put forward a proposal to foster a sense of community of common destiny, follow the trend of the times, keep in the right direction, stick together in time of difficulty and ensure that development in Asia and the rest of the world reaches new heights.

Two years later, he comprehensively and systematically expounded the concept of the community of common destiny for mankind at the opening ceremony of BFA annual conferencefor the first time.

In recent years, the concept has been more and more accepted by the world and even incorporated into multiple UN resolutions and documents, demonstrating the influence and charm of Chinese wisdom.

However, with rising populism and protectionism, some countries have become reluctant to offer international public products and even undermined the multilateral international system.

The trend of anti-globalization indicates the existence of the old-fashioned mentality that goes against the times, such as superpowers and zero-sum games. Such mentality poses a threat to the world view and value that encourages consensus and common actions.

Some Western scholars said that the spirit of cooperation and win-win results has turned into dusty prints in history books, even though it had once led the world out of its plight.

To get rid of zero-sum games, one must go with the history and adjust their mentality. It is just what the community with a shared future for mankind stresses: to abandon win-or-lose mentality, uphold the spirit of win-win cooperation, and make efforts to achieve peace and prosperity.

China’s path of reform and opening up is also one way that leads to win-win cooperation between the country and the world. Tadayoshi Murata, professor emeritus from Japan's Yokohama National University said that the building a community witha shared future for mankind proposed by Xi is a global version of China’s reform and opening-up.

“The country should fully open up with a broader horizon, higher standards and stronger efforts, and accelerate the development of its open economy on higher levels,” said Xi, as China’s reform and opening-up entered the 40th year. His remarks signaled China’s sincerity to embrace the world and achieve win-win results with each country.

China has made continuous efforts to construct the Belt and Road, and has taken new measures to further open up. The upcoming first China International Import Expo (CIIE) will showcase China’s determination to establish its own sphere of reform and opening-up while supporting common development of all countries.

China, with historical achievements and changes, is standing at a new starting line. It is ready to join hands with each country to build a community with a shared future for Asia and mankind, and usher in new prosperity for Asia and the world.

Source: People's Daily

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 10:20:11 +0600